Baking for Others: The Cookie or the Dough?

EVENT: Sunday night dinner
VENUE: Cara’s apartment, Park Slope
PARTY SIZE: Just four of us
TYPE: Simple supper party
MENU: Skillet-roasted favas with tomato and feta; broccoli; carrot raisin cookie (dough) and chocolate chip cookies

carrot raisin cookie dough

The following is excerpted from an email exchange between two of my friends whom I’d invited to dinner the following night:

jordana: i’m excited for brooklyn dinner and carrot cookies!

sarah: let’s just eat the dough! just throwing that out there…

jordana: dough is so yummy! but i like cookies too – i say half and half!

If this sounds odd, here’s some history to contextualize: While Jordana (of Veggie Birthday fame) was my roommate, we grew obsessed with this chewy, cake-like carrot-raisin-walnut cookie from the Union Square Greenmarket. Much to our chagrin, we couldn’t find a recipe anywhere, so I got to experimenting and figured out a way to make these wholesome confections at home.

One night smack in the middle of the carrot-cookie obsession, Sarah was sitting on our couch with Jordana when I walked in, tired from a long day. As I took off my coat and sat down, they both sort of looked at me in a pleading way.

“Will you make us carrot cookies?” they finally said.

Always the sucker, I obliged—or at least I got as far as making the dough. Incredibly, by the time the oven had preheated, there was almost no batter left in the bowl. Jordana and Sarah had eaten nearly all of it.

Whether I’ll appease my guests by serving a portion of the dough raw has yet to be determined—I can assure you some will be baked, for sure, and I promise, they’re really good that way.

From my sweet, but not too sweet, kitchen to yours,



Carrot Raisin Cookies
Makes 30 cookies

Although these are still sweets, as desserts go, they’re not so bad. They have far less sugar and fat than traditional cookies (the carrot supplies some of the moisture) and are made with both whole wheat flour and rolled oats, which counts for something. You could try using spices like cinnamon, dried ginger, or nutmeg to make them taste more like carrot cake.

1 ¼ cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup oil
1/4 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
¾ cup finely grated carrots
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Mix together the oil with the sugar, honey or syrup, and carrots until the sugar is dissolved.

Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Add the raisins and nuts and mix until they’re distributed throughout.

Drop tablespoons of the dough on to a cookie sheet. Flatten each ball slightly. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies have darkened a bit (it’s hard to see—they really don’t look that different baked than raw…). Remove to a plate to cool.

Posted in: Baking For Others
  • Jessie

    The dough is my favorite part. I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies last week and they never made it into the oven. Mmm! These sound delicious!

  • Joanne

    Best looking mixing bowl I’ve ever seen….

  • Beth

    I too LOVE the "Union Square Cookies" (I think they are from Breezy Orchards, who don't have any info on their website) I used to buy them 4 at a time – they are like little wholesome cakes. But since moving back to Long Island I haven't had one or anything close to it!! I am so excited to try this recipe! Thanks!

  • shayma

    Cara, how do you resist? i would eat all the cookie dough. i love your. bec they are not too sweet- i would serve it for dessert with a glass of vin santo.

  • shayma

    Cara, how do you resist? i would eat all the cookie dough. i love your photography,as you already know.

    bec they are not too sweet- i would serve it for dessert with a glass of vin santo.

  • Steph

    Cara, I made these wonderfully easy cookies four times in the past few weeks! I could not resist their healthy deliciousness (and neither could my friends). I even encouraged my mom to make them for my diabetic grandmother…she loved them. Thank you!

  • madeleine.lapenta

    I'm a little confused by the directions: is there supposed to be sugar in addition to the honey/syrup, or is it sugar, honey OR syrup? I made them using only the maple syrup, and while they came out successfully, it does taste like they're missing a little something.

  • Rachel

    Cara & Phoebe, I’ve been reading and taking tips from your recipes for quite some time now. I find your site helpful, creative, and informative. Thank you. You’ve just made my Halloween. As I’m going to be a paper-writing grad student for Halloween, these cookies are a real treat for my study sessions. They are just a bit sweet, but not too sweet. The raisins & carrot complement each other well. As does a bit of cinnamon for spice. They are soft, plump, and warm right out the oven. All treat and no trick.

    • BGSK

      Rachel–so glad you liked the cookies!

Need more desserts? A Baker's Dairy-Free Dozen.

Buy the ebook Learn more